Tag Archives: Sewing

“Mum do you think…?”

Mum thinks. 

She thinks plenty.

In fact when mum hears the question “Mum do you think…?” forming, she is thinking a mile a minute and wondering what is coming next!

I am getting cute in my old age… almost two years ago The question was completed and I agreed to have a go and see what I could do.

John Button pink t-shirt

John Button pink t-shirt

Now a little explanation might help:

The pink shirt was a tribute shirt for John Button, Jenson Button’s father. Jenson races in F1. John always wore pink shirts to his son’s races, and they were usually open at the collar and showing some of his chest.

John died unexpectedly in Jan 2014. As a tribute to him, and to raise money for charity, pink t-shirts were made in his honour and sold at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone in July.

Elly and George were watching the Grand Prix, saw the shirts and immediately George knew she wanted one. It had nothing to do with her jumping up and down in front of the TV singing “I want, I want, I want!”

Time passed.

George was invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed that year by his brother and father. The shirts were on sale and my darling son in love knew he had to buy one for Elly. Then came the difficult part: Guess the size, and we all know that is not an easy task for any man.

Typically, it was a man’s t-shirt, so while it fitted Elly around the bust, it was huge below that. I had shortened tops for Elly in the past to make them suit better on her frame, so that was why the question was asked to do it again.

When I saw the shape of the shirt with the close high neck, I knew it was not Elly. She NEVER wanted anything tight around her neck. I also wanted to be a little more daring, and follow  along the line of the open neck. So the shirt came home with me to be worked on at my leisure.

More time passed.

I was thinking and planning…

If I was to follow the line of the open shirt design, I would need to find a lining fabric. Lo and behold I was out one day, not quite where the tulips grow, but in a shop with t/shirts on display and for sale in exactly the colour tone I needed. It was also a lighter fabric so ideal for use as lining. The plain back of the t-shirt was sufficient for my needs.

J'adore t-shirt

J’adore t-shirt

Over time I plotted and schemed my way. The sleeves were way too wide, so I would have to take them in and adjust the side seams to suit Elly and finally take a chunk off the bottom. So we had a live modelling session with the shirt inside out. I pinned and marked and Elly managed to struggle out of the garment with any stabbing by pins.

More time passed.

I like good natural light for working in, but the weather gods, took a very long time to open the heavy grey curtains and allow that yellow ball in the sky to shine through.

All the while I was thinking and planning. Then the stars sun was in my favour and I let loose with the scissors. There was no turning back. 

Work in progress

Work in progress


I worked so far but needed a second ‘inside out’ fitting to make sure the new front lining was sitting comfortably and smoothly before I continued with the final hand sewing. So the project was set aside until I went to Dublin in July this year. 

The fitting took place and while Elly was busy earning an honest crust, I set to hand sewing and finishing the task in hand. Not quite in hand… I needed the fabric stretched, and since the live model was not available, I used a pillow!


By the time Elly came home, the work was done and she donned the finished garment and smiled happily.

Happy Elly

Happy Elly


Today was a steady as you go day. We were promised bad weather, so I planned to bury my head in a sewing task.

The work involved measuring, marking, pinning and sewing. My living-room floor is ideal for spreading out lengths of fabric. The morning was bright but deceptive, It was a cool 6°C when I began working, definitely autumnal. The room temperature soars once the sun appears. It did today, reaching 13°C. I was a happy camper.

I worked while kneeling, then sitting and eventually standing at the ironing board, before sitting to my dining table, where the sewing machine was switched on, threaded and ready to go. It was a good job I had no unexpected visitors!

At one stage, some stitches needed to be unpicked so I went to the sewing box to find my ripper.

stitch unpicker

stitch unpicker

I had it yesterday. It was not on the table, in the sewing box, on the floor, or in any of the pockets of the clothes I had on yesterday. I searched the fridge, the pantry, the airing cupboard and every room in the house, but still never found it. I did have an older one, not quite so sharp, so gave in and used it.

I worked until the light was going (with stops for meals and a short walk outdoors), then folded my fabric and returned all the sewing accessories to their rightful place in my sewing box. I checked each compartment for the ‘ripper’. I packed away my sewing machine, cleared the table and finally got down on my hands and knees to check the floor. No ripper, it had vanished into thin air.

Resigning my self to the fact it would turn up when I was not looking for it, I made a coffee and went in to sit down in a soft seat and relax. Half way through the coffee I had a bright idea 💡 Did it slip down under the seat cushion of the armchair ❓

Setting my coffee cup out of the way, I lifted the seat cushion, but there was no sign of the disappearing ripper. I slid my hand down into the bowels of the chair and carefully moved along the very narrow space on each side and down the back. Tomorrow when the bruises appear, blame the chair! I felt something, but it was bulkier than the ripper. I brought my treasure to the surface, and inserted my hand once more. More treasure.

These finds urged me on…. My favourite son in law (I only have one!) loves sitting on my sofa, I regularly find coins that have escaped from his pockets, under the cushions. I wondered if there were any more under there? I did find treasure , but alas no coins.

Between the sofa and two armchairs I had a little hoard…

hidden treasure

hidden treasure

    • A roller ball Gel Pen
    • Red Ballpoint
    • Mini KitKat
    • Sticker from fine crochet cotton
    • Staedtler 2H pencil

The two pens were empty. The KitKat was never mine, I don’t eat Milk Chocolate. The crochet cotton is well gone, I have not used it for over seven years, but the pencil will come in handy!

I wondered how long the chocolate wafer was hiding, so I turned it over.

Sorry Elly!

Sell by date

Sell by date

It might be a little stale the sell by date has passed.

It says best before 17:44  1/4/98 

The first of April 1998, Some April Fool I am!